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Event by Pat Conroy Literary Center


Saturday January 8, 2022; 10:00-12:00 a.m. on Zoom.
Limited to 15 participants

In this generative workshop, participants will learn strategies for writing nonfiction stories on family: research and reporting, ideation, pacing, narration, organization, voice and tone, and creating an ensemble of “characters” who are specific to our origin stories but recognizable to any reader. We’ll break down family memoirs into the who, where, and when, making the unwieldy task of writing about those we know more manageable.

Led by memoirist, essayist, and editor Cinelle Barnes, this two-hour class for writers at all levels of experience will include three in-class prompts that build on each other, a PDF handout with text and illustrations, and a short listening exercise and reading from Monsoon Mansion, the instructor’s family memoir on love, loss, and survival, described by Susan Tekulve as “a woven family tale that is both delicate and electric.”

As a value-added bonus for the first five writers to register, the instructor will also offer to critique their short “elevator pitches” for their family stories-in-progress during the workshop.

SCHOLARSHIPS: Two need-based scholarships have now been awarded for this workshop. Thank you to everyone who applied.

Learn more and register at

This workshop will be held as an online video conference call through Zoom. Details for joining the video call will be provided to all participating writers after registering.

Website: Facebook Event Page

About our instructor:

Cinelle BarnesCinelle Barnes is a memoirist, essayist, and educator from Manila, Philippines, and is the author of Monsoon Mansion: A Memoir and Malaya: Essays on Freedom, and the editor of A Measure of Belonging: 21 Writers of Color on the New American South. Her work has appeared or been featured in the New York Times, Longreads, Garden & Gun, Electric Literature, Buzzfeed, Catapult, Literary Hub, and CNN Philippines, and has received support from the John and Susan Bennett Memorial Arts Fund, the Focus Fellowship, and the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art. She’s a contributing editor at Catapult.

This program and others like this would not be possible without your financial help for which, as always, Pat Conroy Literary Center gratefully thanks you.
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